Drunk driver convicted in child's death
The man who struck and killed a 6-year-old boy who was crossing the street with his mother has been convicted of impaired driving causing the death of Trey Alphonse.
Cody Wengenmayr was also found guilty of driving with a blood alcohol level over .08 and causing bodily harm to the boy's mother, Iris Alphonse, Justice Gregory Bowden ruled Friday.
The decision, said a woman who knew the victims, does little to ease the grief of his family.
"The pain will always be there," said Adelaine Bob. "The family took it pretty hard. They're still dealing with it."
Still, she feels Wengenmayr "should be serving time for what he had done, drinking and driving."
It was around 10:15 p.m. on Aug. 30, 2010 when Iris, then 36, grabbed Trey's hands and began crossing the six lanes of Harvey Avenue near Orchard Park Mall.
They managed to cross five lanes, as Trey dragged a scooter behind him, when they were hit by the Honda driven by Wengenmayr.
Trey died a few hours later, and his mother suffered a broken leg and soft tissue injuries to his left hip.
Bowden ruled that the 21-year-old was travelling "at least" 65 kilometres per hour and had a blood alcohol level of between 114 and 138 milligrams in 100 millilitres of blood at the time of the crash. The legal limit is 80 milligrams.
Bowden also ruled, based on testimony of drivers who were travelling the same section of road at the time of the crash, that Wengenmayr had an "unrestricted view" of the road in front and to the left of him.
While Iris' decision to jay-walk "contributed to some extent" to the crash, Bowden also found Wengenmayr's action contributed to the collision.
"I have no reasonable doubt in finding that the impaired driving ability of the accused was at least a contributing cause of the accident and the resulting bodily harm to Ms. Alphonse and the death of Trey Alphonse," said Bowden in a written decision.
Charges of dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm were conditionally stayed based on a commonly accepted priniciple, called Kienapple, that bars one from receiving multiple convictions for offences that stem from the same act.
Wengenmayr had no comment following the decision. Sentencing will be held at a later date and a pre-sentencing report has been ordered.